Rhubarb is a wonderful spring oddity — a vegetable eaten as a fruit — that works best when its tartness is used to balance sweeter fruits in desserts and drinks.
Experience rhubarb’s unique flavor in full force in a rhubarb compote.Slather it on your morning toast or with blueberry biscuits. Similarly, Church & State’s rhubarb tart relies solely on sugar to sweeten the rhubarb and soften its acidity.
More often, though, rhubarb is cooked in combination with fruit and berries — most famously with strawberries. Aside from pie, strawberries and rhubarb are delicious baked into a crispand served a la mode. They also make a lip-smacking, brilliantly red sorbet. Alternatively, leave the strawberries out of the crisp and instead blanket it with a strawberry sauce. These stained-glass cookiesare almost like little strawberry-rhubarb hand pies — great for eating your rhubarb on the go or at a picnic (after all, it is spring!).
Perhaps not as famous a combination but every bit as delicious is raspberries and rhubarb. For a light meal or snack, stir some stewed rhubarb and raspberries into hot cereal, overnight oats or yogurt or just eat it straight from the spoon. Rhubarb and raspberry make a vibrant ice and are delicious paired with the almond flavor in a marzipan tart.
If you prefer to drink your rhubarb, even if in infinitesimal amounts, rhubarb is a flavorant in some liqueurs such as Aperol and Campari, both known to have a somewhat — or very — bitter bite. For a refreshing cocktail, sparkling rosé wine adds a nice twist to the ever-popular Aperol spritzer, which is usually made with Prosecco. Another bubbly wine cocktail combines tequila, vermouth and Lambrusco with Campari to make Lambrusco on the rocks.
Okay, so maybe sipping an Aperol spritz or a Lambrusco on the rocks doesn’t qualify as drinking one’s vegetables, but it is nice to have one in hand while waiting for a rhubarb tart to bake.